California Wine Institute Launches “Golden State of Mind” Campaign

The “Golden State of Mind” campaign will showcase California’s efforts in sustainable vine growing, innovation and winemaking advancements.

The first phase will be rolled out spring 2021 and will focus on digital advertising and consumer-focused promotions, starting with the introduction of a new look and logo.

Built on the pillars of optimism, innovation and advancements in winemaking, the campaign will also promote a calendar of online events, such as virtual winery tours for the trade and education webinars, as well as a new wine education course with a four-tier certification program.

Seeking to expand its audience in both new and emerging markets, the California Wine Institute is launching its new campaign in the following markets: Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and the United Kingdom as well as Australia, France, Israel, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine and other Eastern European markets.

California Wine Institute’s vice president of international marketing, Honore Comfort, commented: “The crises of 2020, felt both locally and globally, have underscored the importance of our enduring relationships with supporters of California wine around the world.

“We have an opportunity to forge a new path, to share California’s unique attributes so that we continue to grow and evolve in the minds and glasses of our global audience and build a more robust sales channel for our wineries.”

The Wine Institute launched its 2030 Plan last year, a 10-year strategy to increase US wine exports, 95% of which are sourced from California to over $2.5 billion. The strategy aims to increase sales in current markets, launch activity in new markets, and encourage more wineries in California to sell internationally.

The campaign aims to shine a spotlight on California values, showcase the state’s family-owned wine producers, next-generation winemakers and growers and also highlight its commitment to sustainability, diversity and inclusion.

For further details visit – website.

What we can do to help California Wine Country?

Since the beginning of 2020, there have been over 8,100 wildfires in California, alone.   August 15 when fire activity increased extensively, there have been over 26 fatalities and 7,000 homes and businesses destroyed. This week, the California wine country was affected by the “Glass Fire”, which burned parts of Sonoma and Napa. The images are disturbing and the wine industry, as a whole, is with heavy-heart!

Here’s how you can help:

1. Donate to charitable organizations – see list below;
2. Book a trip in advance: support the wine country by visiting them;
3. Shop California wines: search for local shops, DTC winery shipments, order California wines in restaurants and bars; and
4. Show your support by using #WineCountryStrong on social media.

American Red Cross
California Community Foundation’s Wildlife Relief Fund
California Fire Foundation
Google (Scroll down and click “Yes, Donate”)
Humane Society of Ventura County
Salvation Army
United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Stay safe and show your support!

Liz Palmer

Argentina joins New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Canada and the US/California in forming a New World Wine Alliance to boost performance in the Chinese market

Industry body Wines of Argentina has signed an agreement with Shanghai’s Grapea & Co to be part of the alliance aimed at furthering the perception of New World wine in China.

The project, which began in June and will run until October this year, will take the form of a marketing and educational campaign supported by Grapea & Co’s Yang Lu, China’s first Master Sommelier.

The campaign will focus on both online content, transmitted through social media and blogging platforms, as well as wine and sommelier competitions.

The free content will be available on the New World Wine WeChat account and will consist of 18 virtual masterclasses on New World wine regions and 42 videos on topics such as the wine history, viticulture, winemaking, news, cultural traditions and food and wine matching.

These will also be made available on other platforms including Tik Tok, Dianping, and T-Mall.

In addition, the initiative will also feature 22 live broadcasts from key industry figures and popular wine bloggers.

According to the latest data, the scheme has already proved successful. In the first 15 days after the launch in June, the content platforms recorded a total of 68,000 visits and more than 8,000 views of video content.

Commenting on Argentina’s involvement in the project, Maximiliano Hernández Toso, who took over as president of Wines of Argentina earlier this year, said: “Being part of a project of this magnitude reflects the recognition that Argentine wine has gained internationally and the development of its industry.

“I believe that this is a great opportunity for our flagship product to expose its full potential, supporting and accompanying the drive of the collective strength of regions and countries that scale the world stage. We are confident of the impact of continued education and in working with international opinion leaders, such as, in this case, Yang Lu, the only Chinese Master Sommelier in the world.”

It follows news that Argentina was the only country to record an increase in both import volume and value of wine sent to China between January and May this year.

California bars and restaurants can now offer outdoor seating

California’s bars and restaurants can reopen for table service as long as they can provide outdoor seating, according to new measures announced this week.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) in California has proposed regulations for bars and restaurants that will allow them to seat diners on the property that is “adjacent to the licensed premises”, such as pavements or car parks.

The ABC has previously ruled that on-trade outlets can offer take-out and home delivery to patrons so they could stay in business while the state’s lockdown measures are in place.

Pre-made cocktails and other alcoholic drinks are only to be sold as a take-out option if they are served with a meal.

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a directive to close all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs in the state on March 15 and called for all seniors age 65 years or older to stay in self-isolation, in an effort to stop Covid-19 from spreading and putting a strain on local hospitals.

The temporary authorization only allows bars and restaurants to sell alcohol “during times in which bona fide meals are being served,” and allows them to use outdoor spaces that comply with public safety and welfare requirements.

Meanwhile, venues should still “encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible,” according to California’s latest guidance for bars and restaurants issued last week.

The ABC updated its guidelines on May 19, and also ruled that licensees that do not have their kitchen facilities and do not prepare bona fide meals on the licensed premises to partner with businesses that do offer meals ( a “meal provider”) to “sell bona fide meals in conjunction with to-go containers of alcoholic beverages.”

The regulations have been amended to provide relief to the alcohol industry while it is unable to operate in full during lockdown.

Some US states are already coming out of their own lockdowns, with restaurants now able to take bookings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance for bars preparing to reopen earlier this month as coronavirus lockdown restrictions eased.

The Top Ten Winegrowers in Sonoma, California by Acreage

A Wine Business Monthly survey indicates Jackson Family Wines grows the most grapes in Sonoma County, followed by E&J Gallo. Other top growers include the pension fund owned by TIAA-CREF, Treasury Wine Estates and Rodney Strong Vineyards.

The survey was completed by phone, email, and analysis of Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner records and other public databases. Growers in the survey noted that planted vineyard acreage is bound to change as they pull vines or replant.

Tony Correia, president of The Correia Co., also expects to see new vineyard transactions. Some may be driven by the lack of family succession planning or “just plain owner fatigue” due to challenges property owners face, including; weather, regulations and a slowing wine market. Correia also predicts that larger wineries may decide to liquidate vineyards to improve financial performance.

Vineyard pricing in Sonoma, like in Napa, is either flat or up while prices in California’s other wine regions are down, according to Ciatti’s presentation during Wine Business Monthly’s Vineyard Economics Symposium (VES) in May.

Correia, who also spoke at VES, stated the average cost for prime vineyards in Russian River Valley or the Sonoma Coast runs between $175,000 and $180,000 per acre.

For a full list of the Top 100 Growers in Sonoma County, check out the July 2019 issue of Wine Business Monthly.

1. Jackson Family Wines, 3,700 acres
The Jackson family owns 3,700 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company.

2. E&J Gallo, 3,665 acres
The biggest winery in the world owns 3,665 planted vineyard acres in Sonoma County, according to the company.

3. TIAA/Silverado Investment Management Group, 2,000 acres
TIAA/SIMCO has about 2,000 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company.

4. Treasury Wine Estates, 1,375 acres
Treasury Wine Estates owns about 1,375 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company.

5. Rodney Strong Vineyards, 1,369 acres
Rodney Strong owns about 1,369 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company.

6. Ferrari-Carano Vineyards, 1,285 acres
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery owns 1,285 planted vineyard acres in Sonoma County, according to the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner’s database.

7. Constellation Brands, 1,150 acres*
Constellation Brands owns about 1,150 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner’s database and other public records.

8. Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, 1,128 acres
Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards owns about 1,128 planted vineyard acres in Sonoma County, according to the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner’s public database.

9. Foley Family Wines, 1,100 acres
The Foley family owns about 1,100 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company. The vineyards include Roth, Foley Sonoma, Chalk Hill, Sebastiani, and Lancaster Estate.

10. Sangiacomo Family Vineyards, 1,100 acres
Sangiacomo Family Vineyards owns about 1,100 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company. The family also leases another 500 acres in the county.

Source: Wine Business